Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.
Vintage photos of:
March 1943. Summit, California. "Brakeman opening the retainer valve on a car on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad between Barstow and San Bernardino. From here to San Bernardino is one long downgrade of more than 2,700 feet." Photo by Jack Delano, Office of War Information. View full size.
Mexico circa 1891. "Ferrocarill Central Mexicano. Canal of Nochistongo," a drainage excavated in the 17th and 18th centuries to keep Mexico City from flooding. Note the giant camera and tripod employed by William Henry Jackson in the making of his heroically proportioned photographs, the largest of which were recorded on a medium the archivists call "mammoth plates" -- glass negatives that measured 18 by 22 inches. (This particular image was made on an 8x10 inch glass plate -- what modern photographers would consider "large format," but still only a fifth the size of an 18x22.) Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.